Thursday, July 19, 2012

Home Birth Preperations

A few months ago I wrote about why I decided to have a home birth for our newest addition. I thought I would also share how I am getting ready for this. As Im sure you know, home birth prep is a little different then hospital prep! Aside from reading every book I can get my hands on and "pinning" all the pregnancy, labor and birth stuff I saw to my pinterest I was ready to dive right in. I hope to have a very peaceful and calm birth. It is important to me not just because I want to enjoy the experience as much as possible but because I believe a calm, gentle entrance into the world is good for my baby too. For me the preparation is more than just getting the necessities together. It is mental and emotional too. There are things on this list I don't need to have a wonderful birth, but they are things that I know will make me feel more calm and comfortable. To ensure that things are as stress free as possible, here are the things I need and want to have ready when the time comes. Are you ready? This is gonna be a long post!

Clean House. I think we can all agree that this is important regardless of where you birth! I am planning to get everything nice, organized and ready for a new baby. We have just moved into a new house so this will include unpacking and getting everything in its place. I have a list that breaks down all the tasks I need done to accomplish this.

Labor Aids. This will include a birthing ball, birth pool, essential oils and a massage ball. These are all things I either used with my last labor or really wanted to use but was unable to. It makes me feel better knowing I will have things available to help me manage the intensity of labor.

Birthing Supplies. My midwife will have the more important supplies such as oxygen, doppler and emergency medication, etc... I will be getting simple things like a plastic cover for the bed, chux pads for the bed in case my water breaks while sleeping, tarp for under the birth pool, any labor herbs I will be using, towels, a bowl for the placenta, sterile suction bulb for the baby and sterile clip for the umbilical cord. Those are the standard things on most home birth lists, your midwife might have more or less depending on what she keeps on hand. You can purchase these from different websites for about $30 to make it extra easy. I bought my birth kit here, All of this will need to be ready by 36 weeks so that my midwife can make sure I have everything I need. I am storing it in my hall closet so it will be easily accessible.

AQUABORN Eco Personal Birth Pool with LidBirth Pool. I am using an Aquaborn birthing pool from Water Birth Solutions. We will need to have a hose, air pump, debri net and thermometer so we also purchased their basic birth pool kit. Around 37 weeks we will blow it up and test the hose to make sure it is working properly and to make sure we know how to set it up. We might set it up around 39 weeks and leave it up (without the liner and water until labor begins of course) just so it is ready. It depends on how "nesty" I get!

Emergency Numbers. I will have a list of numbers for my husband in case I need someone else to call my midwife and also emergency numbers to put onto the fridge just in case we need to transfer.

Childcare. My son will only be 16 months old so it was very important that we have someone who could help care for him towards the end of labor. I don't want him to be away from me but I do want to know that he is being fed and played with. Plus, I want to have my husband available to me and not worry that he is being stretched too thin between the two of us. My mom and/or mother in law (depending on who times their trip the best) will be taking on this roll.

Food. This sounds so basic that you're probably wondering why its even on the list! I want to make sure that I have food in the house, ready to go. I am planning to make pasta salad, sandwich stuff and if there is time, start a pot of soup or chili. This will help me keep busy in early labor and also allow me to fully focus on laboring without wondering if my family and midwife need food. I also want to make sure there is delicious and hearty food available for ME when I am done. When at the hospital the nurses were only able to dig up a sandwich from a vending machine and a slice of cheesecake from one of their lunches. My husband had to run to McDonalds (the only place open that late) just so I didn't starve to death, haha! Not exactly what I wanted or needed after all that work! This time I want a big juicy steak and a huge salad.

Labor Food. Yes, food is on the list twice! It is important to eat a good meal early in labor because some women don't want food later and your body needs a source of energy. For those that do like to eat, it is good to have simple, nutrient packed foods ready to go. I was starving with my last labor because I "wasn't allowed" to eat for 22 hours, so this time I am planning to have food in the fridge. I plan to have sliced/grilled chicken breast and/or steak, lots of chopped fresh fruit, cheese slices, stuff for smoothies, broth and some homemade energy bars. I will also have coconut water to help keep me hydrated. I may not want anything this time around, but I will be prepared, just in case!

Towels. Since I am planning a water birth I will need to have at least 7 towels ready to be used after the birth. We are using some older towels and also bought a few cheap ones from the post exchange. These will be kept in the birth bucket with all our other supplies.

After Birth Supplies. This will consist of witch hazel pads, sanitary pads, AfterEase (to aid with after pains) from WishGarden Herbs, Lavender Essential Oil, Post Partum Bath Herbs and a Peri Bottle.

Just Because.  These items certainly aren't necessary but they are on the list because I think they will help with the entire mood of my home. If my home feels peaceful, I will feel peaceful. If I feel peaceful my labor will progress better. This list includes quiet relaxing music, candles, my favorite relaxing essential oils and comfortable but easy to remove clothing.

 This may all seem like a lot. Even just seeing it all typed out like this and I'm thinking "Wow!". So far the way I have approached the to do list is by picking a few items on the list and setting a goal to get them done each month. By the time the baby gets here, everything will hopefully be done! This is truly one of my favorite parts of pregnancy. I am a planner and love preparing things for any occasion but especially the birth of my babies. I feel so blessed to have the chance to welcome another life into the world, it truly makes all the work and effort worth it.

Obviously I still have things to add to my closet stash! In the next few days this will contain all the towels, baby clothes, herbs and other items mentioned in this post. So exciting!

Have you had a home birth? Are you planning a home birth? What did you or are you doing to get ready?

Written By Happily Domestic Contributor: Brittney Thompson
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Tina said...

Sounds like fun! Best wishes!! One thing I didn't see metioned was THE CAMERA!! :) Just a thought, oh and extra batteries!!. Blessing to your family, Tina

Blair said...

Thanks for the list. I am trying to get an idea of what to pack in the car for the trip to the hospital. If my labor is anything like the last one I may end up delivering in the car and I want my husband to have some supplies on hand.

Mama Love said...

Tina- You are right, I forgot to put that in there, lol! I have been obsessively making sure the battery is charged and the card is clear! :D

Blair- Beth did a post a couple months ago on packing her hospital bag. Here is the link, I hope you find it helpful!

Hannah Avery said...

Yes, I had a home birth for my first son, and I plan on having one for this next
baby also. We got a pool, ordered a birth kit, got together old sheets, towels, washcloths, the babyclothes, and juice for me. This time I would like to have a few more extras I think like herbs, and maybe essential oils. Thanks for the great list!


Suanna said...

I've had 2 homebirths and would love to do it again if presented with the opportunity. Both times I had a water birth in our garden tub. If we had waited much longer with our last birth we might have had a car story or an unattended homebirth. I really don't want to go through the possibility of that. Labor at home is peaceful.

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